Friday, January 22, 2021
BOMs Away: A Close-To-Finished Top and a Re-start
As I've noted since the start of the year, what I had planned to do all this month is try to clean up or move forward projects started last year. Last year I had an ambitious plan to work on four BOMs. My work on all of them got interrupted by the pandemic, quarantine quilting projects, Christmas decorating projects and then a trip south in December.
Despite all of that, I managed to finish the blocks for three of them last year. The blocks made for the AQS Twilight Flurries BOM will sit until I feel ready to focus on how I want to lay them out. I am not sure the patterned layout will work with the scrappy blocks I made. I got the blocks for the the self-styled BOM project I called "Modern Bohemia" to a top in the first week of this month. So now it's time to continue work on the last two BOMs.
Joann Countryside Cottage
First up is this BOM which is an old pre-cut kit from 2004-2005 that I purchased in 2019. I had made one of these Joann BOMs years ago and loved the Fall colors of this one so was excited to make it. I've got to admit, having all the blocks already cut and ready to sew was the ideal project in a pandemic year! Of all the BOMs I worked on and even after falling behind on it, this one was the easiest to catch up on and then keep current.
By the time I was ready to travel at the end of November, I had finished all the blocks for the BOM except for the last one. It was an applique block and simple so since I would be traveling, I decided to do it by Hand Applique so prepped it for that.
I started stitching it on the train ride down --- the benefits of a long distance trip and the "Social Distancing" seating on trains during the pandemic that gave me a two seat section all to myself to spread out in. I finished up the block during the first few days of my stay.
This month, it was time to lay all the blocks out and try to bring it to a top. Reviewing the final layout, I was dreading just a little bit having to cut all of the large setting triangles for some of the blocks and alternate setting squares, except.....hooray for pre-cut setting kits: even all the setting triangles and squares (as well as the border strips to be added later) were all pre-cut and ready to go! Woo Hoo!!
So as a result, it was easier than I thought to start stitching it together. However, with larger block units and parts of the rows sewn together, I am again at a stopping point.
The layout has large plain setting squares that are just too bare for my taste. Before I went away, I had considered the possibility of adding applique to them as well. On my return I came to my senses: the challenge of adding applique, in addition to choosing designs for that, is to find fabrics compatible with the kit fabrics. I know I definitely won't be able to get the actual fabrics in it anymore! And while finding block designs and compatible/coordinating fabrics is not an impossible task, when you add to it the time it takes to actually do the applique, it is one that would take more time than I want to devote to this (so many projects, so little time!).
So now I've considered maybe quilting or embroidering sentiments related to the theme of "Home/House" in those squares. However to do that will be easier if the squares are not already pieced into the rows or the top. In a recent Pat Sloan weekly video, she showed a panel with a Willam Morris quote that I thought was perfect for the theme (the one on the left)!
I've already got that and it turns out the background color of the panel is exactly the same as the deep dark blue fabric in this kit. So I pinned it to one of the squares and will either applique it down or cut the kit square into strips and piece them as a border around the panel. So this BOM will once again have to sit a bit while I continue to stew on how to proceed with the remaining embellishments.
I'd like to get this quilted up for Fall decorating so if I am successful in finalizing the embellishment plan, getting backing and more importantly keeping with my goal of doing more quilting of tops this year, I may actually accomplish that!
This is the first time back working on this BOM since April of last year. It is the only one of the 2020 BOMs I was never able to get back up to speed after the pandemic and quarantine set in. So for 2021, the plan is to go back to working on this monthly. Should be easier this time around with only one set of BOM blocks to do! So when I left off last year, I had stopped here:
Since I worked on the Joann BOM at the start of the week, I didn't get to this one until towards the end. I did manage to pick out and cut fabrics for two more blocks for this month:
The red and blue block contains two fabrics from "Catalina", the last Fig Tree line released. I had seen blue fabrics in some earlier Fig Tree lines but couldn't find a good selection of them. So when I saw the new line last summer, I decided to splurge and get a bundle of selected fat quarters of it. So more blue-focused blocks will be coming. BOM work is now done until next month!
Another reason why I had liked the Christmas Figs BOM is that the sampler of blocks in it remind me of projects that I've either already made or would like to do. This is similar to how ladies at the turn of the century collected blocks to record patterns they wanted to make. In a blog post last year, Barbara Brackman talked about an American Quilt Study Group paper that discussed the history of block pattern collections. I feel like this one will be mine!